Poverty is a topical issue in developing countries especially Africa and Nigeria in particular. The dearth of studies on quantitative determinants of poverty in Nigeria is a major weak point in the country’s poverty reduction policy and strategy formulation. This study analyzed the incidence, severity and the determinants of household poverty in Ogbomoso Agricultural Zone of Oyo State, Nigeria using the data collected through well-structured questionnaire from 120 respondents who were selected through a multistage sampling technique. Analytical techniques used include descriptive statistics (frequency counts, percentages and mean values), poverty Indices and ordinary least square technique (OLS); this was used to assess the determinants of poverty among the households. The findings revealed that poverty is higher among households that have old heads, female heads, and large household size, engage in farming as the only occupation and have no formal education; poverty therefore rises with the increase in household size while it reduces with increase in level of education, farm size and participation non-farm jobs as alternative livelihood source (livelihood diversification). Gender, household size, years spent in school, farm size and non-farm jobs were found to be important and significant factors determining poverty in the study area. The study recommends that, there is the need to control household size, invest in human capital development, increase farm size and embrace livelihood diversification; these and many more are ingredients of effective poverty reduction strategies.
Rural households; poverty; poverty indices; OLS; Oyo State; Nigeria.